LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A jury found a Leavenworth man guilty of using an Apple AirTag, a GPS tracking device, to stalk his ex.
According to the court, Aaron Barber was charged with one misdemeanor count of stalking.
The court says the victim was driving home in April when she noticed her ex following her.
“In instances where you are not the owner and it keeps following you, it will notify you,” County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
Most people use an airtag to make sure they don’t lose their wallet, or to track the location of their car.
The victim told the court she got an alert on her phone about an AirTag being nearby.
She says she called police when she got home and a Leavenworth police officer found the AirTag on her vehicle.
The court was able to verify the AirTag belonged to Barber.
Thompson said there’s a history of abuse in this relationship.
“He had called multiple times, texted multiple times, wouldn’t stop contacting her,” Thompson said. “We’re lucky that it does ping, it does let her know. She was proactive about not only trying to find it, but call the police to let them know because that ended up causing, or not seeing any violence happening.”
“Unfortunately, this is not the first case,” Deputy Chief Dan Nicodemus said.
Officers found the airtag hidden near her spare tire, according to court documents.
And Apple’s records revealed that the airtag belonged to Barber.
Police said there’s also video of Barber going through her trunk earlier that day.
“Just be aware of your surroundings,” Nicodemus said. “In this case, someone was messing with her vehicle. that was the first step. That’s not usual. That’s highly unusual.”
Generally, the maximum penalty for stalking could be up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. But Thompson said it’s up to a judge.
Barber is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18, 2023.